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Imam Al-Ghazali's Ihya' 'Ulum Al-Deen

He Encourages Zikr

Imam al-Ghazali explains that the heart has two doors: one opens to this world and the other to the 'aalamal malakut, that is, the heavenly world of the angels, the 'Arsh (Allah's Throne) and Lawh Mahfuz (The Preserved Tablet). The recitation of zikr in abundance erases sins and opens the second door to the 'aalamal malakut. To achieve this, Imam al-Ghazali exhorts us to do zikr (remember Allah) continuously. Zikr has to be done with such abundance that first it abides on our tongues and then in our hearts. The final stage is reached when the zikr becomes engraved in the heart with its meanings.

Two whole books of the Ihya' are devoted to this purpose. These are full of azkaar (supplications) and awraad (regular voluntary invocations). One such suffices as a ni'mal hadiyyah (splendid gift) from him. (Ihya', Vol I, Book 10, p. 397). Imam al-Ghazali narrates that Khidhr 'alayhissalam received these as a gift from Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam himself, then taught them to Ibrahim al-Taimi in front of the Ka'ba, and recommended their recitation seven times each before sunrise and sunset. Hence, they are called Musabba'atul 'Ashr (Ten invocations recited seven times each). No wonder Mawlana al-Haddad Rady Allahu 'Anhu made it the concluding part of his great Wird al-Kabir. They are:

1. Surah al-Fateha

2. Surah an-Naas

3. Surah al-Falaq

4. Surah Ikhlaas

5. Surah al-Kaafirun

6. Ayatul Kursi

7.Sub'hanAllah Wa'l Hamdu Lillah Wala Ilaha Illallahu Wallahu Akbar Wala Hawla Wala Quwwata Illa Billahi'l 'Aliyyil 'Azeem

Glory be to Allah, and all Praise is for Allah, and no one is worthy of worship but Allah, and Allah is Great, and there is no might or power except with (the help of) Allah, the Most High, the Incomparably Great.

8. Allahumma Salli 'alaa Muhammad-in-Nabiyy-il Ummiyyi
Wa 'alaa Aalihi wa Sahbihi wa Sallim

O Allah! Bestow blessings and peace on Sayyidina Muhammad,
the Prophet not taught by any human (but directly by You, O Allah)
and bestow peace and blessings as well on his family and companions.

9. Astaghfirullaha lee wali waaalidayya wa li'l mu'mineena wa'l mu'minaat
Wa'l muslimeena wa'l muslimaat
Al-ahyaa-i minhum wa'l amwaat
Innaka Sami'un Qareebun Mujibudda'waat

O Allah! Forgive me and my parents, and all believing men and believing women,
and all Muslim men and Muslim women,
from among those that are alive and those that have passed away.
Truly, You are the Hearer, the Near One, the Acceptor of supplications.

10. Allahummaf'al bee wa bihim
'Aajilan wa aajilan fiddunya wa
'l Aakhirah
Maa Anta Lahu Ahlun
Walaa taf'al binaa Yaa Mawlana
Maa nahnu lahu ahlun
Innaka Ghafur-ur-Rahim
Jawwadun Kareem Raufun Rahim

O Allah! give me and them
Now and in the future, here and in the Hereafter
What you have
And don't give us Our Lord
What we (sinners) deserve
Truly, you are Forgiving, Merciful,
Generous, Bountiful, Most Kind, Merciful.

He also gives selected invocations of the Holy Prophet Sayyidina Muhammad Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam, of Sayyidina Nabi Adam, Sayyidina Nabi Ibrahim, and Sayyidina Nabi 'Isa 'Alayhimussalam, and of Sayyidina Abubakr, Sayyidina 'Ali, Sayyidatina Fatima, and mother of faithful believers, Sayyidatina 'Aisha, among others, Rady Allahu 'Anhum.

Hasbunallahu wa ni'mal Wakeel
Allah is Sufficient for us and (He is) the most excellent Trustee (3:173)

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